The other day Whoa Mumma* posted the picture below that was so accurate of my family that I thought maybe she had snuck in with a nanny-cam. Except for the bit where one of the kids is a boy.
I had just settled down to give Baldy Baby her second breakfast, sinking a little too far into the couch. Further than I did in the old days, anyway.The almost-five-year-old Blonde Bombshell and two-year-old Miss Curly Mop exchanged glances. An imperceptible nod. The attack began.
‘Let’s play Mummies and puppies,’ announced General Bombshell.‘Yeah!’ replied her little foot soldier.
‘Bye,’ said hubby as he ran for the door in his gym gear. ‘Back in a couple of hours.’Bastard.
Suddenly the Bombshell and the Mop emerge from the playroom, their arms full of cushions and toys.‘What are they for?’ I ask.
‘This is for the puppy to sleep on,’ the Bombshell informs me.The Mop promptly drops to all fours and starts wiggling her bottom. She is a bit uncoordinated, so she ends up wiggling her entire body. ‘Woof,’ she cries.
‘Put them back,’ I tell them. We have enough crap in here, we don’t need a transferral of crap from one room to another.The Mop has fallen over in a dizzy spin. ‘Wheee!’ she yells. ‘Woof,’ she corrects herself.
‘Let’s go puppy’, orders the Bombshell. Off they move to the next room.Baldy Baby opens one eye and raises an eyebrow. I swear she must be in on it.
‘Fetch puppy,’ I hear from the playroom, followed by the sound of a plastic bone being thrown against a small head. The whimpering was doggily authentic.There is momentary silence, then the sound of a balloon being blown up.
Thwwwwwwwwaaaaaaaaaaaffffffaaaaaarrrtttt.Hysterical laughing follows.
‘Watch this Mum,’ the Bombshell emerges with a box full of long skinny balloons, designed to bend into animals. Another one of hubby’s brilliant and short-lived ideas.Suddenly a yellow striped balloon whizzes past my eyes, and lands with a fart on the couch on top of the TV remote. I see the Bombshell glance at the Mop. This has been their plan all along.
So I do what any self-respecting mother would do - pretend not to notice. It’s not even half past seven in the morning, if I give in now, I will have lost them for another day.So they do what any self-respecting kid would do. They amp up their attack. It’s a simple enough plan, with a high chance of success – especially against a tired breastfeeding mother who has been up since 3.30am.
They fire their secret weapon. Parental-involvement.She stands directly in front of me, feet planted firmly, hands on hips.
‘Mummy, can we play schools? I will be the teacher, and you can be the kids. Now, who can tell me about elephants? Mummy? Can you spell elephant?’ Her miniature teachers-assistant is running around the room with a 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle, threatening to tip it out on my slippered feet. Where on earth did she get that?I give in. They win.
I toss the remote in their general direction. The red button is pushed and instantly they turn from hyper-monkeys to sub-zombies. They sit on the couch, mouths slightly agape, eyes glazing over. It’s quarter to eight in the morning. I am a bad mother.Baldy Baby opens the other eye and turns her head in the direction of Scooby Doo.
And I end up with a lapful of milk.
* Love your work Whoa Mumma!